#BixbyFifty #Day09 – Sometimes Gratitude is Difficult

This is going to be a cathartic entry. I am not sure how to begin to write today. So many emotions, so much pain, so much anger.

On the drive home from Calgary, I made that decision that I was going to make an entry in the blog about the events of last week. I have no idea what I am about to say. This entry is completely free-flowing and as words form in my mind, I will type them.

I am angry right now. Part of the grief cycle. I have been angry for a many days now.

On Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 6:33am, I woke up and answered the phone. It was our daughter Teri; she was distraught. I quickly woke up Kathy and Teri informed us that there was a mass homicide at her residence early that morning. She is at the police station and she is physically safe. Emotionally, she is a wreck as she informs us that five people were stabbed to death at a small quiet house party. She has four roommates and most of them are going to university. This was a small gathering to celebrate the end of the school year. At this point we are stunned and grasping to understand what Teri just told us. She went to bed at 11pm that night. Around 1:30am she phoned 911 saying that it sounded like trouble and they should send someone over to break up the party. Little did she know the horror of what occurred. I will not write anymore about the horror of her discovery.

I have no details of what happened, and even if I did, I would not share them. I am not equipped to understand why someone would do something like this. This is all beyond my scope to understand.

We told Teri that we would be coming to Calgary right away. Our little girl sounded so fragile and broken on the phone, our hearts were breaking. We got in touch with Krystal and she immediately made the decision to drive to Calgary with me, we booked Kathy a flight for early evening.

It was a long seven hour drive. A drive that was filled with questions and emotions. Teri was so close to being one of the victims. My eyes tear up again just writing that. For all of the emotions I feel, Teri must be completely overwhelmed. I look at her and want to erase the memories and visions from her mind. I want to give her peace, but I can’t. I am helpless as I look at her distant stare as she grapples with the horror of what she has experienced. No-one should have to go through something like that, no-one.

The four of us stayed at a hotel in Calgary and started the process of picking ourselves up from the shock and severity of this event. We bonded as a family, we cried a lot, we had periods of extended silence as we privately reflected or chewed on the bile of the emotions brewing inside. We met with Victim Services and they offered help for all of us as we work through our process of dealing with this. We managed to get a moving company on Easter weekend that could go into the house and get all of Teri’s things.

One of the deceased was a roommate of Teri’s; Jordan Segura. We attended a visitation for Jordan and his funeral. So tragic, such a senseless loss. All five victims were young, full of dreams and hopes. All taken much too soon. I cannot even comprehend the depth of the grief for those families.

I really do not have much more to say. I am pissed off. I am grief stricken. I am numb. I am all of those things at various points through the day. At various points through the day, I just tear up and let a wave of emotion wash over me. I feel other things too. I feel like I do not even have a right to feel these things, that my rights to these feelings are nothing compared to the feelings of the families who have lost a son or daughter. I know it is silly, but I think that my feelings should be subordinate to theirs. I also feel inadequate. It is a parent’s job to protect their children and for whatever reason I feel like I have failed in that role. I also know that it is silly to think I can protect the girls now that they are adults, but you never really set down the mantle of being a parent. Their pain is my pain, and I can only imagine it is more vivid for Kathy. I know that the intensity of my feelings will diminish over time, I just don’t know when.

Today I am grateful that Teri is alive and with us. I am grateful that she is alive, I am so absolutely grateful for that. I will try to allow that feeling to wash over me without the guilt of feeling grateful when there are five sets of parents that do not get to feel that way. I am grateful for the support that Dan has given Teri. It will be so very hard for Kathy and I to let her go back to Calgary in a few weeks. Knowing that Dan is there is a great comfort. I greatly respect Dan for the support and caring he has given Teri. Lastly, I am grateful that Krystal, Kathy, and I were able to be with Teri in the aftermath of this tragedy. The bonds of family grow stronger in times of great sorrow. I have an amazing family. I love all of them dearly, I love all of them deeply.

17 thoughts on “#BixbyFifty #Day09 – Sometimes Gratitude is Difficult

  1. oh Matt – this is heartwrenching – please share my love with Kathy and the girls – so grateful too that Teri is okay – but horrified and saddened that this occurred. My compassion goes out to all of the families involved. Wow.

  2. Truly incomprehensible Matt – you, Kathy and your children are in our thoughts. My son lost a friend in that horror and is dealing with the loss as well, what can you say – there are no words.

  3. Matt…….I cannot even come close to knowing the hell you have all been through throughout this insanity, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all, and most thankful that you still have Teri with you! Big warm hugs to all.

  4. Hey Matt,

    I had no idea that was the reason you were in Calgary and that this awful tragedy was hitting you so close to home. I’m glad Teri is safe and hopefully time will help heal some of the psychological damage to the people involved.

  5. My God, Matt. I have no words for you. I saw the story on the news and my first reaction was that I was only blocks from where that happened about a week beforehand and figured that would be as close as I would get that tragedy. Little I know that someone that I know would have been effected by this. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family right now. I know it is hard to imagine, but for all the evil out there in the world, there is so much more good. It’s just so much harder to find the majority of the time.

  6. Oh Matt.. big hugs to all of you! I read of this online and was deeply saddened at the senseless loss of life. And now, to read how close your family was to this tragedy is mind-blowing. I know you will find so much comfort in each other. I am so sorry that this happened. Humanity at its worst 🙁

  7. Keep strong.

    You have every right to be angry right now.

    I am also very grateful that you are all alive and safe! My thoughts and prayers are with Teri, Krystal, Kathy, and yourself as you all heal.

  8. Matt, I watched the news reports of this and had no idea your family was affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Teri, Kathy, Krystal and you. We all feel shock and sadness over events like these, but having it so close to home for you is unimaginable. We are thankful Teri is safe, and hope that she will in time be able to put this behind her and heal.

  9. Matt…What does one say ? I pray for your daughter and her friends. I pray healing for the victim’s families. Your anger is warranted, allow it to happen and if need be, in time, allow it to push for a greater good. May Terry and all those close to her, find strength and peace but know that will not come in any hurry. Know my thoughts are with you and your family. Keep writing (privately if necessary) to help release this.
    Sending love

  10. So sorry to hear you and your family were affected by this terrible tragedy. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Take care!

  11. Wow Matt, there probably isn’t an emotion you and your family didn’t feel. We all heard about this, and we all felt terrible and horrified, but I never thought it involved anyone close. All I can say is thinking of you and your family at this time, and Michelle is right, keep writing, your East Coast friends will always be with you!

  12. My heart and prayers go out to all the families struck by this horrific act…I am so glad that you still have your daughter , can’t even imagine what those other families are going thru…had no idea this hit so close to home …take care ..

  13. Oh my friend I have no frame of reference to empathize with your anguish. Until I read your blog this was a news item, tragic but somehow removed. But, learning that it brushed up against the family of a cherished old friend erased my detachment completely. I expect I feel less than one one-thousandth of the emotional turmoil you feel, and I am reeling.
    No parent should have to contemplate their child’s fate the way you have been forced to with this horror. This has caused you to question yourself. I will tell you one thing, you have NOT failed as a parent. You are a fine human being and your daughter is safe now. You have done your best, and it was definitely good enough. Please don’t allow fear to create guilt in you where it does not belong. Instead, focus on the love that sent you running to your child’s side when she needed you. With love and prayers, Belinda.

  14. I am so sorry that your family had to go through this tragic event Matt. I can only imagine the horror one feels at receiving a phone call like that. I am so happy that she wasn’t hurt and I hope that Teri and the rest of you can all get the help you need to cope with this tragedy.

  15. Hi Matt,
    So sorry to hear of this. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and the families who lost their children. It’s not fair that some parents have to lose their children to such cruelty. It will take a while to get over this and hopefully having family around will help. Take care,

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